Officials of Italian company Ceramica Del Conca, along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Bill Hagerty, announced that the company will build its first North American manufacturing plant in Loudon, TN.
The $70 million investment on the project will create 178 new manufacturing jobs with hourly wages of $17, plus benefits.
‚ÄúThis announcement is great news for Loudon County, and I am excited to welcome Del Conca to Tennessee,‚Äù said Governor Haslam. ‚ÄúWe are very appreciative of the investment in our state as we work toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.‚Äù
Along with establishing a base for U.S. operations, the Loudon facility will allow Del Conca to serve major U.S. customers such as Lowe‚Äôs Arizona Tile, Mannington and Tile Shop more effectively. The facility will be a 320,000-square-foot manufacturing, research, showroom and administrative facility and will be located at the Sugarlimb Industrial Park.
‚ÄúWe have chosen Loudon, Tennessee for our new North American facility,‚Äù said Paolo Mularoni, president of Del Conca USA. ‚ÄúLoudon is geographically located close to the main U.S. highways and in close proximity to our sources of raw materials. We have found in Loudon a very cooperative team of people who are working hard in order to help us build a successful business that better serves our U.S. and Canadian customers.‚Äù
Tennessee was one of the five states under consideration for Del Conca‚Äôs ceramic tile factory and North American headquarters. The site selection process had been underway for the past four years.
As an incentive, Loudon offered Del Conca a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) program under which the company will pay $1.68 million instead of a decade‚Äôs worth of taxes. Del Conca was also given approval for purchase of the 30 acres of land at $15,000 per acre, along with a promise of additional support for the chosen site from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
‚ÄúLoudon County welcomes Del Conca to East Tennessee with this opportunity to bring a substantial volume of high-quality jobs and positive economic impact to this region,‚Äù said Loudon County EDA president Pat Phillips. ‚ÄúWe thank Del Conca for selecting Loudon County and also appreciate our partners with the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and TVA for facilitating this exceptional opportunity for our community and our region.‚Äù
The Loudon facility is expected to begin operations by the end of 2013. The construction and hiring process will be completed in two phases. The first includes a $70 million investment and the hiring of 100 employees. The remaining 78 employees are expected to be retained within the next five ‚Äì six years, with an expected additional investment of another $20 million.